Category Archives: Classroom Gardening and Composting

Kid and Student-Friendly Homemade Pesto and Pasta Recipe

My students recently made homemade pasta to go with pesto from basil they grew in their garden. I have never made pesto before because the basil is so expensive, but by growing our own herbs we made enough for the whole class to enjoy.

The pasta recipe is easy:

Make a mound of 3/4 C flour on the countertop. Sprinkle with salt. Make a crater in the mound.

Crack an egg in the crater. (Or, for a vegan option, use tomato paste)

Knead the dough until smooth, shiny, and elastic. This takes a long time; about 10 minutes.

I told my students this recipe was easy enough but still gross and sticky enough to share with kids they babysit. Just make sure they are old enough to know not to lick their fingers!

Roll the pasta through a machine. In a classroom setting, when multiple machines are needed; or at home, when you don’t have one, you can get by with a rolling pin and pizza cutter. Your pasta will just need longer to cook because it will be thicker.

While the pasta is drying, head out to pick your basil. You will need one packed cup. Here’s the simple recipe that we prepared in a simple food chopper:

Boil the pasta in salted water for~5 minutes or until al dente. Drain and toss with the pesto.
Remember to save some basil for the garnish!

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Planting Our Little Classroom Garden

Last week my students planted a small garden as part of their Food Issues unit. We are talking about where our food comes from and the importance of local food and community resources.
Our National Honor Society sponsor was kind enough to include my class in a gardening grant and share a sunny spot in their garden. I had good intentions of making a beautiful raised bed, but didn’t want to make my students think gardening was hard, expensive, or time-consuming. Instead we went with a simple plastic bag method.
Start by punching holes in one side of a bag of gardening soil, every three or four inches.
This was the students’ favorite step.
Turn the bag over so the holes are facing the ground. Cut the top off of the bag, leaving a two-inch border all around to hold in the dirt.
Plant the tomatoes in trenches.
In addition to tomatoes we have a variety of peppers and lots of herbs. 
The garden is tiny- 18 square feet, but is enough to grow all of the tomatoes, peppers, and herbs we will need for Food and Nutrition next year. Hopefully my students learned that gardening can be quick, easy, and rewarding.
I hope what you've read is useful! I post here biweekly with resources for Family and Consumer Sciences and Home Economics teachers and share my classroom happenings much more frequently on Instagram, Twitter, and Facebook. Sign up to receive an email when new content is added to my blog. Thanks for visiting!

Companion Planting with Compost, Sunflowers, and Cucumbers

We were fortunate to have a few hours of sunshine this weekend. I continued my small-space gardening projects by companion planting sunflowers and cucumbers around my compost bin.

You can read the guest post on my mom’s blog, Jo’s Country Junction.

I hope what you've read is useful! I post here biweekly with resources for Family and Consumer Sciences and Home Economics teachers and share my classroom happenings much more frequently on Instagram, Twitter, and Facebook. Sign up to receive an email when new content is added to my blog. Thanks for visiting!